ON MARCH 6, 2022, Sr. Barbara Reid, OP was inaugurated as the eighth president of Catholic Theological Union and first woman religious to lead the school of theology and ministry.
With great celebration, Sr. Barbara was joined in the ceremony by two previous leaders of CTU: Chancellor Donald Senior, CP and president emeritus, Mark Francis, CSV. Bishop Joseph Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, offered the invocation before a crowd gathered at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Hyde Park.
With great celebration, Sr. Barbara was joined in the ceremony by two previous leaders of CTU: Chancellor Donald Senior, CP and president emeritus, Mark Francis, CSV. Bishop Joseph Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, offered the invocation before a crowd of almost 300 gathered at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Hyde Park.
Cardinal Blase Cupich shared a written message of congratulations on the occasion:
With great delight I share these greetings for your inauguration as the eighth president of the Catholic Theological Union….
Your election as the Catholic Theological Union’s first woman religious president marks a new chapter in its rich history and your leadership comes at a critical time in preparing priests, religious, and lay men and women for ministry and service to God’s people. Your extensive administrative and teaching experience augur well for CTU’s impact informing leaders to meet the challenges facing the church and the world.…
We give thanks that CTU’s graduates serve around the world and are also grateful for CTU’s proximity which brings numerous blessings to the archdiocese including vital ministerial leadership provided by the graduates of the Tolton and Romero programs who serve in our parishes, as well as the distinguished work of the Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Center. …With God’s grace and your leadership, I am confident CTU will continue to cultivate leaders who nurture relationships that build community and share the joy of the Gospel to ensure the Kingdom of God flourishes.
Cardinal Blase Cupich
Representatives of the CTU Corporation, the faculty, the Association of Chicago Theological Schools, and the Hyde Park faith community all shared messages of welcome and gratitude for Sr. Barbara’s ministry as President of Catholic Theological Union.
Doctor William Shiell, President of Northern Seminary and the current vice-president of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools, greeted Sr. Barbara on behalf of the 12 graduate schools of theology which make Chicago one of the greatest centers of theological education in the world,
Doctor William Shiell
“CTU is a vital part of this consortium. May you continue to bring the unique gifts of CTU, an intercultural school of theology and ministry and its focus on the Gospel Message to bear in your mission of forming missionaries and religious order priests for global service, in forming the laity for ministry, and in your commitment to ecumenical and interreligious dialogue. The theological education community of Chicago is richer from CTU’s presence.”
In Sr. Barbara’s Inaugural Address, she reflected on the parable of the grain of wheat from the Gospel of John, evoking the image of the seeds of renewal planted by the Second Vatican Council and the call to new life for theological education in today’s post-pandemic Church.
President Sr. Barbara Reid, OP
“But for CTU, founded in the spirit of Vatican II, dying to the way things were and giving birth to something new is in our very DNA; that’s what we’ve done from the start.
In these days, we face no less turbulence, as we enter a third year of a global pandemic, in a world at war once again, inhabiting a planet imperiled by global warming, and a church and country ripped apart by scandals, divisions, and racism.”
But just as there were remarkable triumphs and signs of hope in our founding years and throughout our history, so too, today, there is new life springing forth, leading to a future full of hope.
Inspired by the leadership and example of Pope Francis, CTU is committed to a vision of a global church that is inclusive, synodal, international, intercultural, and focused on social justice.”
In conferring the office of the president of CTU on Sr. Barbara, Rev. James Halstead, OSA, Chair of the Board offered the following blessing:
President Reid, as you formally take office with God’s help and the support of the CTU community and our friends, stand firm, be courageous and strong and let all that you do be done in love and with humility.
Foster the material, personal, and spiritual resources of CTU.
Be clothed in compassion, kindness, and patience. Continue the legacy of CTU in service to the Church and the world.
Feed those who hunger for a life of the Spirit by seeking study at CTU. Work with kindness and patience with the faculty, staff, and students, so to foster academic excellence and inspire pastoral leadership.
Support our programs and centers that they might succeed in their endeavors.
Be a model of service that through your efforts CTU may thrive as a community of collaboration and continually grow in mutual care.
Be a good steward of CTU’s finances, development, and facilities
Witness to CTU to our benefactors and wider constituencies
Attend to the welfare of CTU in program and policy. Chart well the future of the school to be a sign and leaven to the world of Christ’s good news of justice, love, and peace.
May God, who inspires every holy resolve, confirm your intention and strengthen your heart to accomplish faithfully all that you have promised.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God through him.
Following the inauguration, hundreds of alumni, community members and friends of CTU gathered at the James and Catherine Denny Center at CTU for a joyous reception in celebration of this historic day.
A recording of the Presidential Inauguration ceremony can be viewed on Learn@CTU: https://learn.ctu.edu/presidential-inauguration-2022/.